On the 1st of August 2003 Lord Hutton made his Opening Statement to the Inquiry. In the course of his statement he relates a chronological sequence of events leading up to Dr David Kelly's death and makes mention of Dr Hunt's post-mortem report of 19th July. This is an extract:
A post-mortem examination was carried out by Dr Nicholas Hunt, a Home Office accredited forensic pathologist and his post-mortem report dated 19th July has been sent to me by the coroner. A toxicology report has also been sent to me by the coroner. The post-mortem report will be referred to in greater detail at a later stage in this Inquiry. However, it is relevant to state at this stage that it is the opinion of Dr Hunt that the main factor involved in bringing about the death of Dr Kelly was the bleeding from incised wounds to his left wrist. Dr Hunt also states: "The fact that the watch appears to have been removed whilst blood was already flowing suggests that it has been removed deliberately in order to facilitate access to the wrist. The removal of the watch in this way and indeed the removal of the spectacles are features pointing towards this being an act of self harm."
I am quite clear in my own mind that Lord Hutton was completely out of order in making the direct quote of Dr Hunt (the last four lines above). This is for two reasons: firstly what Dr Hunt is saying here is purely speculative and secondly by mentioning the words 'self harm' in the context shown in his Opening Statement Lord Hutton has planted the seed of a conclusion that Dr Kelly committed suicide before evidence is heard from the witnesses. For these two reasons this part of Lord Hutton's statement is unacceptable.
Regarding the quote made by Dr Hunt this is a good moment I think to elaborate on why I consider it speculation, and hence why it should have had no place in the Opening Statement. Dr Hunt has produced no evidence to show that removal of watch and spectacles are indicative of intent to cause self harm, none whatsoever. The removal of the watch might just as easily have been carried out by another party whist the blood was flowing as by Dr Kelly. Because of blood on the watch Dr Hunt opines that Dr Kelly removed it after he had started cutting his wrist, yet there is good evidence that Dr Kelly was very meticulous in what he did, so logically one might say that he would remove the watch before the start of cutting and then leave it on the right side of his body. The positioning of the watch to his left and with blood on it is to me more suggestive of action by another person or persons.
As to the removal of his spectacles Dr Hunt is once again speculating. I would refer the reader back to this entry I made http://drkellysdeath-suicideormurder.blogspot.com/2010/11/dr-david-kellys-last-interview.html . It is quite clear from the video that Dr Kelly didn't necessarily have cause to wear his spectacles for every waking minute of the day. Although spectacles were found in his jacket pocket Dr Hunt has no idea at all in my opinion whether he was wearing them on his walk. Let me present this scenario: let us suppose that he sets out for his walk wearing them (Ms Absalom could have been usefully questioned on this). Dr Kelly is abducted and rendered unconscious if not immediately killed. The intention is to bring him to Harrowdown Hill much later on. To ensure that his spectacles don't fall off in the transportation process, and become evidence of body transfer, the perpetrators take them off and stuff them in his pocket.
I notice too that Dr Kelly's mobile phone was found in the same pocket not in the special pouch where you would expect Dr Kelly to keep it. It suggests to me that after abduction his kidnappers switched the phone off and seemed to have put everything into the same pocket. I would have imagined that David Kelly was the sort of person where everything had its particular place rather than mobile, key fob, spectacles and blister packs being crammed into the same pocket.
Speculation on my part? I don't deny it but every bit as credible as the opinions expressed by Dr Hunt, opinions that Lord Hutton decided to insert into what should have been a purely factual summary.